Certain Conservatives in the United States seem to have a never-ending supply of things to complain about these days. They came out strongly against providing contraceptives to women through employer-sponsored insurance programs even when the employer would not be directly paying for them. The Conservative movement has been on a decades-long campaign to deny women reproductive rights. They have gone so far as to enact legislation to force reproductive centers like Planned Parenthood to shut down. The Conservative base nearly exploded when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality. One of the latest things Conservatives are whining about has to do with transgender bathrooms in Target stores.
Something else enraged sensitive Conservatives recently. It was an online advertisement posted on Twitter by the clothing retailer Old Navy. The advertisement was something most people see every day. It depicted a married couple wearing all Old Navy clothes holding up a child dressed in a similar style. The husband was a Caucasian and the wife was an African-American. This was apparently enough to send Conservatives into a tailspin. There was a massive meltdown on Twitter where racist comments were thrown at the store and the people in the advertisement. There were shouts for massive boycotts because Old Navy posted a picture of an interracial couple.
Many of the comments were simply racist. They talked about African-American stereotypes, insulted the appearance of the woman and compared the couple to various animals. A higher portion of the comments than might be expected had a conspiratorial or baffling message. A common thread in the comments was that interracial couples who have children were somehow committing “white genocide” against the country. Old Navy was accused of supporting that idea. Other comments talked about how the photo of the couple was intended to start a race war. There were additional Twitter messages stating how the government is using the advertisement to desensitize people to some mythical “New World Order” as well.
The Twitter feuding, racism, hatred and ignorance did not go unnoticed. Many public figures and private citizens spoke up. One person really encapsulated the feelings of people who refuse to accept racism in just a few direct messages. Jack McCain holds the rank of lieutenant in the United States Navy. He mainly flies helicopters as part of his military service. He is the son of Republican Senator John McCain from Arizona. Jack McCain is married to a woman named Renee Swift. She is a reserve captain in the United States Air Force. She is also an African-American woman.
Jack McCain saw the Twitter postings and had enough. He started posting a stream of well-crafted messages back at the racist. His first message contained the words “eat it” underneath a picture of himself and his wife standing side-by-side in their military uniforms. His next message read “I hope this one burns too, you ignorant racists.” The picture above it showed the day he married his wife. It was an image of McCain kissing her hand. They were not done yet, however. His wife finished with a picture of the couple smiling on vacation. Her message read “I was just in Old Navy this weekend! Bought something for me and my husband.” She ended the post with the hashtag LoveWins.
McCain and his wife received overwhelming support online for the series of posts. They also got a fair share of people calling them race traitors and other names. Although the racists and bigots are speaking up loudly, they are still a small minority. The number of hateful racists in the United States is dwindling every day often through attrition. The words of people like Jack McCain and Renee Swift offer hope that the future will be a better place for everyone.